B1G Basketball Power Rankings: Jan. 28

By Michael Citro on January 28, 2013 at 12:00p
13 Comments
Indiana edged the Spartans in the B1Ggest game of the week.

The ongoing narrative of this season continues to be how hard road games are to win in B1G play.

Four teams are separating themselves as the conference contenders, while teams like Minnesota and Wisconsin are slipping into the league’s second tier. The Buckeyes took advantage by winning both of this week’s contests, stepping up into the fourth spot. The bottom half of the league has been beating each other up and making life miserable for the better teams that visit them.

Nine of this week’s 12 games featured at least one ranked team. Five B1G squads played as Top 15 teams in the AP and coaches polls. The B1G continued to lead the nation in RPI and Sagarin ratings.

So how do the teams stack up after another week of battling it out?

Let’s get to this week’s power rankings.

1. MICHIGAN (19-1, 6-1)

TTUN remains atop our rankings this week with a pair of wins. Despite falling behind at home at halftime on Thursday night, the Wolverines stifled Purdue in the second half, winning 68-53. Michigan allowed only 20 second-half points.

Trey Burke scored 15 points with eight assists and two steals to lead the way. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 13 points and the Wolverines won on the glass, 32-25.

Burke led all players with 19 points in Sunday’s win over the Illini in Assembly Hall. He also posted five rebounds, five assists and three steals in the 74-60 win. Stauskas scored 14, with Hardaway and Glenn Robinson III kicking in 12 apiece.

The Wolverines shot 52.5%, holding Illinois to just 36%.

So the lone blemish on the season for Michigan continues to be that “L” in Columbus.

Michigan hosts Northwestern on Wednesday and travels to Indiana Saturday for a pivotal B1G game.

2. INDIANA (18-2, 6-1)

The Hoosiers took a big step toward a potential B1G title by defending their home court against Sparty on Sunday, 75-70. The win allowed them to stay even with the Wolverines at the top of the conference standings.

A 3-1 advantage in free throw attempts and MSU star Keith Appling fouling out with five minutes left helped the cause. I’m not saying Indiana gets more home cooking than most teams, but the Bloomington disparity is, well, interesting.

Victor Oladipo was fantastic, scoring 21 points, with seven rebounds, six steals and three blocks. Christian Watford chipped in 12 points and six rips.

If Cody Zeller is held without a field goal in a B1G game, does Indiana win? It does if it’s playing Penn State at home. The Hoosiers cruised past the Nitts, 72-49, on Wednesday.

Oladipo posted 19 points, six rebounds and five assists, leading four Hoosiers in double figures. Yogi Ferrell chipped in a career-high 15.

The Hoosiers visit rival Purdue Wednesday before hosting the Wolverines Saturday.

3. MICHIGAN STATE (17-4, 6-2)

Sparty has been adept at grinding out close wins this season, as it did at Wisconsin Tuesday, 49-47. Appling led Michigan State with 19 points and Branden Dawson added a double-double with 18 points and 13 rips.

All other Spartans combined for just 12 points.

Michigan State came up just short in Bloomington, as previously mentioned. Gary Harris scored 21 to lead the Spartans. Adreian Payne scored 18 to go with his nine boards.

Appling and Derrick Nix in foul trouble didn’t help, nor did 18 Spartan turnovers. The return leg of this fixture on Feb. 19 in East Lansing will bear watching.

The Spartans get a light week, hosting Illinois on Thursday.

4, OHIO STATE (15-4, 5-2)

The Buckeyes responded to the loss at Michigan State last week with two victories, albeit ugly ones.

Deshaun Thomas (16 points) got a little help from Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith (12 points each) and Evan Ravenel (11 points, six rips) in Tuesday’s 72-63 win over Iowa. The game felt kind of like a loss at times, due to a 24-point lead shrinking to just four.

The Buckeyes were careless with the ball, to the tune of 17 turnovers — six, uncharacteristically, by Craft. Miscues, fouls and allowing 19 offensive rebounds gave Iowa a lifeline back into the game. Amir Williams had six blocks, but only two points and no rebounds.

Sam Thompson came to life on Saturday at Penn State, leading the team with 16 points on 6/7 shooting in a 65-51 win in Happy Valley. He also grabbed six rebounds, with two steals, two assists and two blocks. Deshaun added a season-low 11.

Ohio State managed to force only four turnovers against the Nittany Lions. The Buckeyes owned the glass, 38-25, and shot 44% to Penn State’s 36%.

The Bucks host Wisconsin tomorrow night and visit the Cornhuskers in Lincoln on Saturday.

WHEEEEEEEEEE!!!Slam Thompson, you are clear for takeoff.

5. WISCONSIN (14-6, 5-2)

Mike Bruesewitz was the only Badger in double figures in the loss to Michigan State, scoring 10 points. Wisconsin shot just 29.6% from the field and missed 11 of 18 free throw attempts in the two-point home loss.

George Marshall had a chance to tie the game from the stripe with three seconds left, but missed the first freebie. He missed the second on purpose, but failed to hit iron, killing the game off.

Wisconsin ended its two-game B1G skid on Traevon Jackson’s shot clock-beating 15-footer Saturday, edging Minnesota, 45-44. Ryan Evans and Sam Dekker scored 10 apiece to lead Wisconsin, in a contest that did nothing to impress people who love efficient offense.

The Badgers are on the road this week, visiting Columbus tomorrow night and Illinois on Sunday.

6. PURDUE (11-9, 4-3)

The Boilermakers started the week hot, hitting 7/13 from behind the arc to grab a 33-32 halftime lead in Ann Arbor. The wheels fell off Purdue’s choo-choo train in the second half, as the Boilers went 0/9 from distance and lost by 15.

Terone Johnson scored 14 points in the loss, with D.J. Byrd adding 11 and Rapheal Davis chipping in 10 points and eight rebounds.

An overtime win over Iowa, combined with Minnesota’s free fall, elevates the Boilers to the No. 6 slot this week. Johnson tied the game in the final minute and Purdue never trailed in the extra session, beating the Hawkeyes, 65-62.

Johnson scored 17 points, adding 12 rebounds to pace Purdue. Ronnie Johnson chipped in 15 points and Donnie Hale scored 12 off the bench.

Purdue hosts the Hoosiers on Wednesday and visits Northwestern on Saturday.

7. MINNESOTA (15-5, 3-4)

After a hot start, the Golden Gophers are sinking like a stone.

The Gophers dropped their third straight game Wednesday, falling to Northwestern in Evanston, 55-48. Trevor Mbakwe’s double-double (14 points, 16 boards) led Minnesota, which lost Austin Hollins early to fouls.

Andre Hollins turned the ball over seven times, scoring just six points. Despite dominating the glass, 42-23, poor shooting and a plethora of fouls doomed the Gophers.

The losing streak reached four on Saturday in Madison. Rodney Williams missed a tying free throw with one tick left on the clock when Mbakwe was unable to shoot due to injury.

Andre Hollins scored a game-high 20, but the rest of Minnesota’s starting lineup combined for just 12 points. Tubby Smith’s group shot just 35%, and the 7/12 performance at the stripe didn’t help in a game that was there for the taking.

Minnesota’s schedule lightens up a bit this week, with Nebraska visiting Williams Arena tomorrow and Iowa coming to town on Sunday.

8. IOWA (13-7, 2-5)

The Hawkeyes have been in a lot of games this season but haven’t produced the results that Fran McCaffery would like. Aaron White’s 13 points and seven boards gave Iowa a chance to come back at Ohio State, but the Buckeyes won the free-throw shooting contest at the end.

Iowa outrebounded Ohio State, 34-31, for the game, including a massive 19-10 edge on the offensive glass. This edge, coupled with 17 OSU turnovers, allowed Iowa 10 extra field goal attempts in the game, nearly allowing the comeback.

With time running out Sunday, the Hawkeyes were poised to steal a road win in West Lafayette. But Purdue tied it and won in overtime. Mike Gesell posted a game-high 18 points in the loss. The Hawkeyes were sunk by an inability to sink shots. They hit only 19/61 (31%) overall and 5/17 (29.4%) from three.

Iowa hosts Penn State on Thursday, before Sunday’s trip to Minnesota.

9. NORTHWESTERN (12-9, 3-5)

Jared Swopshire’s 16 points and eight boards led the Wildcat offense, but it was Reggie Hearn making the big plays at the end to beat Minnesota.

Northwestern should really have put Minnesota away earlier, but a putrid 17/32 (53%) performance at the charity stripe kept the Gophers in contact.

Just when it seemed Northwestern could win three out of four and enter the NCAA tournament discussion, the Wildcats were ambushed in Lincoln, 64-49. Dave Sobolewski scored 21 points and Swopshire added 11, but the duo got little help.

Notably, Hearn struggled, with a 2/11 night (0/5 from outside).

Northwestern visits Ann Arbor Wednesday and hosts Purdue Saturday.

10. ILLINOIS (15-6, 2-5)

After three consecutive losses, the Illini were finally fighting again, murdering Nebrasketball, 71-51 Tuesday. D.J. Richardson came to play, dropping 30 points on the Huskers. The mercurial Brandon Paul added 14 points on 13 attempts.

It was John Groce’s 100th career victory as a head coach.

The win over Nebraska hardly righted the ship. Illinois promptly made it four losses in five outings when they fell at home to Michigan on Sunday night.

Paul (15) and Richardson (12) led the Illini. Groce’s club is turning the ball over and shooting poorly.

The Illini have a scary week on tap, visiting Michigan State Thursday and hosting Wisconsin Sunday. This team may be in danger of missing the dance after a great start to the season.

11. NEBRASKA (11-10, 2-6)

The Huskers missed a chance to post back-to-back B1G wins against the struggling Illini.

Dylan Talley scored 16 and Brandon Ubel added 10 in the loss to Illinois. Nebraska shot just 31.8%, including a horrific 2/14 (14%) from three, and was outrebounded, 38-27, in the loss.

Undaunted, the Huskers made it two out of three by blasting the Wildcats Saturday. Talley’s 20 led the way, with Ubel chipping in 14 points and 12 boards.

Nebraska shot 45% and won easily despite getting only five bench points out of six players.

The Cornhuskers may have a rough week ahead, facing Minnesota on the road and Ohio State at home.

12. PENN STATE (8-12, 0-8)

The Nittany Lions are still looking for their first win in conference play this year, and appear firmly entrenched in the B1G basement.

D.J. Newbill scored 18 points in the loss at Indiana, but it took him 17 shots to get there. He also turned the ball over eight times. Jermaine Marshall added 12 points on 11 shots. This inefficiency on offense has plagued Penn State all season.

The Nitts shot 33.3% from the field, and just 13.3% (2/15) from distance, turning the ball over 16 times. Penn State actually took seven more shots than Indiana, but still lost by 23.

Part of that was the aforementioned inefficiency and part was getting Bloomington’d. Indiana attempted 37 free throws to Penn State’s 18.

Marshall’s 16 points and Newbill’s 15 led the team against Ohio State, but the Nitts weren’t helped by Brandon Taylor’s 1/8 day outside the arc. A 4/17 performance from three kept Penn State from giving the Buckeyes more of a scare.

The lone game for Penn State this week is Thursday’s trip to Iowa City.

NEW FRIENDS

Maryland (15-5, 3-4)

Maryland’s up-and-down ride in ACC play continued this week. The Terps squeezed past Boston College Tuesday, 64-59. Then they got blasted by Duke in Cameron Indoor on Saturday, 84-64. Maryland outrebounded Duke, 42-31, but couldn’t get defensive stops and shot poorly from three (5/18) and at the line (9/16).

The Terps would be No. 6 or 7 in this week’s rankings.

Rutgers (12-7, 3-5)

Two weeks after getting beat by Rutgers on its own floor, St. John’s returned the favor in Piscataway, 72-60. A 36.5% shooting night combined with 17 turnovers did in the Scarlet Knights. A three-point deficit with five minutes remaining turned into a 12-point loss at UConn Sunday, 66-54.

The 9 or 10 slot seems a likely spot this week for Rutgers.

13 Comments

Comments

oregonianbuckeye's picture

Indiana looked really good yesterday vs. sparty (with a little help from the officials). Oladipo was incredible, and I think they beat michigan this week. 

rgarrett22's picture

Any else irritated by the word "rips" as a synonym to rebounds? I will try to stop being irritated by the word choice if I'm the only one. I can go with "boards" or rebounds.

Earle's picture

Not fond of "rips", but "scoring the basketball" bothers me more for some reason.  Do you really need 3 words when one will do?

tennbuckeye19's picture

I agree. "Rips" sounds like a statistic for wet farts per game.

OldColumbusTown's picture

Oladipo is by far the best player on that Indiana team.  He's probably the 2nd best defensive player in the league (and closing fast on Craft), and has become incredibly efficient on offense.  I have no doubt he's NBA-material.  Reminds me a lot of a smaller Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, from UCLA and who now plays for the Milwaukee Bucks.
I think Ohio State can make it an interesting game against IU if they can keep Zeller from getting great post position, and keep someone on Hulls at all times.  AT Indiana will be tough because of their, eh hem, home-court advantage.  But, IU does not impress me defensively, save for Oladipo, and they rely so much on their home-crowd/cooking and outside shooting to win.

Michael Citro's picture

I'm not insinuating anything, but these are the facts:

Indiana shoots 16 more free throws per game at home than its opponents in B1G play. This is +7 from an already substantial road differential of +9.

Assuming they make only half their free throws, Indiana essentially starts each home game with an 8-point lead.

"But EVERYONE gets more calls at home," you say? Not so fast, my friend.

Ohio State is shooting three fewer FTs at home per game than its opponents in league games, and is +1 per game on the road.

Earle's picture

Indiana's inside game and OSU's lack thereof are factors in those stats.

Michael Citro's picture

The +7 at home vs. road for Indiana against the -4 at home vs. road for Ohio State is free of interior/perimeter bias. Same teams playing in different locations.

Interestingly, Zeller/Watford have 40% of Indiana's FT attempts in league play at home, but 48% of IU's attempts on the road.

Ohio State's Amir Williams & Evan Ravenel (splitting the 5) and Deshaun Thomas (at the 4) are taking 46% of the Buckeyes' road FT attempts and 45% of the attempts at home.

 

Earle's picture

Sorry, misread the original comment, which clearly shows the impact of IU's interior game regardless of where they play.

OldColumbusTown's picture

One can just watch the games to see there always seems to be more than meets the eye (at least the referees' eyes) at Assembly Hall.
Yesterday, for instance, was a game where IU shot 14 more free throws than MSU.  I stopped counting how many times MSU was hacked and slapped at their end (which were not called fouls), versus how many times MSU was called for reach-in fouls or love taps.  It becomes laughable, at times, especially when you hear the IU crowd go nuts each time the Hoosiers are called for a foul.
Cody Zeller - 7 field goal attempts, 6 free throw attempts.  Derrick Nix - 8 field goal attempts, zero free throw attempts.  Anyone who watched the game knows it was physical down on the block, and could view how many touches in total Nix had as compared to Zeller.  Yet...

Squirrel Master's picture

I think I can say the same thing for OSU at Illinois. The last 2 road games against the Illini which happened to be loses, seemed to be very one sided with the whistle. I could barely watch the first half of the game before I had seen enough. Not saying it was the reason OSU lost the game but it was pretty obvious which way the whistle blew!
I wouldn't be surprised. I do think there is some home-stewing going on in some games. I think it is much more the influence of the crowd and location than just straight up refs doing it on purpose, but it has become very common for some home teams to get the call than others.
I will also add in that there is something more with teams that play more on the inside but just because OSU doesn't use a low post game as much doesn't mean they aren't scoring on the inside. Much more drives in the lane that either end up with a crash and turnover or them having to dish the ball outside.
on a side note as well, Sully needs to work a bit harder with NBA refs. He gets held and pushed around some because he is a rookie and the refs don't call much for him. He is holding his own and realy doing much better than what many thought but the refs are not giving him the benefit of the doubt while he is a rookie. So he needs to play a little more dirty and learn some things from Garnett. If Sully played a bit nastier and mean, he would be a force in the NBA I am certain of it!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Firedup's picture

Can't wait to see what type of team IU is in February on the road.  OSU MSU scUM Minn have all had road tests against the top of the league.  IU travelled to Iowa PSU and NW  scary.  Their schedule definitely has been favorable to this point.  
At this point I believe it comes down to IU MSU and scUM whoever can win on the road in this triangle will win the conference.  

Roman Brutus's picture

I was just looking at some of the RPI rankings and noticed that Ohio State is #49 for SOS. How is this possible if the B1G is the most difficult league and OSU has played both Duke and Kansas. Can someone please explain this to me?